Healthy Diets for Senior Pets

Meal time, a pet’s favorite time of day, and dreaded by many pet parents. As our furry friends age, feeding time may evolve into a laundry list of things your pet can and cannot have to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. You can keep meal time simple with these tips to help your four-legged friend enjoy a tasty meal that keeps their tail wagging

 

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How much protein is too much? The classic debate over how much protein to keep in your senior pet’s diet is still ongoing. Some believe that a high protein diet may leave elder pets healthier, while others believe the opposite is true. However, while the jury is out it is best to consult your veterinarian to ensure you are doing what is best for your pet. Each pet is different and has their own set of special dietary needs; be sure to create a diet specific to their needs.   

Stay hydrated. As your pet ages, be sure to have fresh water readily available to them. While some aging animals may experience arthritis and have a harder time getting to the water dish, others may develop diabetes and need more water than when they were younger. Monitor your four-legged companion’s water intake and share any abnormal behavior with your veterinarian. Any major increases or decreases in behavior could be a sign of something more serious than normal aging.

The right diet is within paw’s reach. There have been great strides in veterinary nutrition over the years. This means that your pet will be able to find a diet that works for them. Whether they are suffering from an illness or simply old age, the answers to the food dish are within reach. Supplements, such as DGP, are also great and often healthy additions to a pet’s diet. Consult your veterinarian for information on special therapeutic diets if you find your pet in need of a unique meal plan.

Count those calories. Like humans, weight gain may come with the territory of aging for dogs and cats. With this fact in mind, it is important to watch the number of calories your pet is ingesting. We aren’t just referring to those feeding fidos who won’t stop snacking either. It is important your furry friend is at a healthy weight for their breed and age. Whether you find your pet gaining or losing weight as they age, be sure to monitor this and adjust their calories accordingly.

Keeping our loving pets healthy is the most important job we have as pet parents and it only gets more difficult with age. Be sure to consult your veterinarian with any dietary concerns you feel your pet is facing.

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